National Eating Disorders Association

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Struggling with an ambivalent mindset

Hey there!

I've been struggling with disordered eating patterns for a few years now, and it's gotten really bad over the past year. I have a few questions that maybe some of you guys can help me with. :)

At the moment I'm in psychological treatment for Depression and Anxiety related issues, but my ED problems are really flaming up and I'm not sure how to tackle any of it. Depression wise my therapist has been able to help me out and we've made lots of progress with behavioural therapy. But now I feel like my eating issues keep me stuck in a hole and won't let me get ahead any further.
I'm thinking that maybe I should try to get a therapist who is actually specialized in EDs. While my therapist is the best I've ever consulted, I don't feel like she has an understanding of how EDs function and how it actually impacts me and my choices. She gives me great tips that would probably function well if I pulled through with them, but I keep falling back into ED mindsets that won't let me help myself. I could just have to be stronger and put more effort into recovering, but I don't feel like I'm able to.
My depression and ED issues are definitely affecting each other. I don't know which problem would be smart to start solving first, now that I'm no longer in danger because of my depressive behaviours.

I also don't feel like I'm actually sick enough to recover from anything, which duh, very stereotypical. But I just can't distance myself from that mindset. After having started my consistently restrictive behaviours in an overweight stage, I've never fallen into a dangerously low weight range, and my physical symptoms have been pretty minimal this whole time. While theoretically I know it doesn't make a difference, it keeps me from taking any actual steps towards getting out of this funk. The first therapist I talked to about my issues with eating just gave me the "you don't look like it" line, and eversince then I've been too scared of getting help for it and too reassured in my thinking of me not being 'sick enough'.
I'm so close to finishing school and I've always wanted to become a nutritionist, but I'm scared that I won't be able to get there if I don't get any closer to recovery.

How do you guys deal with that back-and-forth kinda thinking? For a few hours I'm motivated to get better and stop damaging myself and my life, but in a snap I'm fully back in the ED mindset. It just comes and goes all day and it's really exhausting.
Should I try to talk to my therapist about starting an ED focused therapy?

Thanks in advance for any answers!
I'm really interested in hearing about other peoples experiences and maybe getting n giving some support from people on here who have an idea of what it's like to struggle with this stuff.

Hope you're all having a good day!

- Jade


Hi. I am sorry your post sat for a while. I am sorry that I am unable to respond tonight but I wanted to say something and pull your post to the top so I can give you some time and attention to answer some of your questions tomorrow as I am tired and am unable to give you my best tonight. But I will see your post at the top tomorrow and will be able to spend time after 9pm est tomorrow. I understand what you are saying and it is a common thought process so you are not alone thinking what you are. But I do have some things I want to say, tonight is just not a good time. But I wanted to acknowledge your post and let you know tomorrow night I will get back to you. For now...


Hi again

So. I do believe depression and anxiety go hand in hand with eating disorders. Also, the not feeling sick enough is a trick of the eating disorder's ploy. It wants sufferers to believe they are not sick enough so that individual won't seek help. Years can go by and you may still feel that you are not sick enough. If you are struggling with food obsessions and it is causing disruption in your life, you deserve to get help. And you are sick with at least disordered behavior. Even at my worst I didn't think I was sick enough. I never saw what others saw even though I was terrified of eating and being around food, and even though I almost died from the bulimia. Self deception keeps us sick. Admitting we have a problem is when we will finally seek help and the ambivalence while it still may hang around for a while usually lessens allowing us to deal with why we use disordered eating to begin with. What does your therapist say about seeing someone who specializes with eating disorders? Getting better sometimes means gaining weight. But that is not to make one fat but stable. And then the brain can think more clearly even if one is binging and gets help to stop, the binging clouds the brain and keeps one from thinking clearly. Once that is stabilized, it is easier to make better food choices. And I am happier at a weight I never thought I'd settle on when I was sick than I was at a low weight. I am not afraid of food, going out to eat, going to social events where food is present. I am living my life now where before it was full of fear and worry, weighing myself all the time and not being happy no matter the number. We are more than a number. We are special and created on purpose for a purpose. I do understand what you are saying. See if you can make a pros and cons list of what you gain from staying sick, and what you lose from being sick, and also, the same thing for getting better. And I don't mean weight. I mean being happy, not being afraid of food. Or being able to stay a smaller size, but at what cost? Writing these things out on paper and seeing them may help motivate you to want recovery. I hope this helps you some. Please post any time and get the support you need.

iwanttolive and I am